Screening, Testing, Travel

Screening

This is the method we use to determine who is at a higher risk for developing a disease or condition. With COVID 19, we are using the following screening questions to identify people at an increased risk of infection.

  1. Do you have a fever OR cough, runny nose, sore throat or shortness of breath?

AND

  1. Have you had close contact with a person diagnosed with COVID 19, or a person awaiting test results? (Close contact is defined as a household member, direct contact with a co-worker, or personal contact)
  2. Have you traveled at all in the last two weeks?

Testing

Patients who call us for a sick visit or to discuss symptoms will be screened for their risk as described above. We will connect patients who are symptomatic and answer yes to the travel or contact question to the Nurse Triage for further assessment.

Lamprey Health Care currently has some limited capabilities for testing. Based on the clinical assessment, we will work to coordinate testing as appropriate.

Travel

There is widespread, on-going transmission of COVID 19 worldwide. If you have traveled internationally in the past 14 days, stay home and monitor your health. Visit the CDC for the latest information on travel.

US Cases
Global Cases
Travel Health Notices by Country

Preventing the Spread

Personal preventive steps like frequently washing hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer and wiping down often-touched surfaces with disinfectants are essential.

Hand Washing

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If you are unable to wash with soap and water, use hand sanitizer.

  • Wash your entire hand: front, back, between the fingers, and under the nails.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Always wash your hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
  • Wash your hands before preparing food or eating.
  • Wash your hands after coughing or sneezing.
  • If you have to touch your face, wash your hands first.

Surface Cleaning

Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects daily using regular household detergent and water.

  • Frequently touched surfaces mean items such as tables, countertops, light switches, doorknobs, keyboards, and cabinet handles.
  • If surfaces are dirty, they should be cleaned using a detergent and water before disinfection.
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products.

At the moment, there is not enough data to know how long COVID 19 can live on surfaces.  According to the World Health Organization (WHO), coronaviruses may survive on surfaces for just a few hours or several days. New studies are emerging daily, but many factors can influence this, including the type of surface material and weather. In general, there is likely a very low risk of spread from food products or packaging that is shipped over days or weeks at ambient, refrigerated, or frozen temperatures.

Physical Distancing

Effective March 23, 2020, per Executive Order #16 from Governor Sununu gatherings of 10 or more people are prohibited.

  • Practice physical distancing protocols as recommended by the CDC
  • Maintain a distance of 6 feet between yourself and others.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
  • Try to designate a room for those who may become ill.  Use separate bathrooms, where feasible, and isolate those who are sick from other members of the home.

Other Recommendations

  • Remind everyone in your household of the importance of practicing everyday preventive actions that can help prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses:
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue.
  • Throw the tissue away immediately. Do not leave used tissues on surfaces.
  • If you don’t have a tissue, use your elbow. Avoid using your hand to cover your cough.
  • Wash your hands after coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. This is how viruses get into your body.

People at High Risk

Who is considered at high-risk?

Those considered at high-risk include:

People age 65 and older

People who live in a nursing home or long term care facility

Other high-risk conditions could include:

  • chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma,
  • heart disease with complications,
  • immunocompromised including cancer treatment,
  • severe obesity (BMI greater than 40) or certain underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, such as those with diabetes, renal failure, or liver disease might also be at risk

People who are pregnant should be monitored since they are known to be at risk with a severe viral illness, however, to date data on COVID-19 has not shown increased risk.

If you are at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19, you should:

  • Stay home if possible.
  • Wash your hands often.
  • Avoid close contact (6 feet, which is about two arm lengths) with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched services.
  • Avoid all cruise travel and non-essential air travel.
  • Call your primary care provider if you have concerns about COVID-19 and your underlying condition or if you are sick.

For more information about patients at high-risk and special populations, such as pregnant women, visit the CDC’s website.

Not at high-risk?

There is still a role for you to play. You can support family, friends, and community members who are at high-risk. The CDC also provides information on key ways you can help community members who may be struggling.

Volunteers

NH Responds

NH Responds is coordinating an online registration for medical and non-medical volunteers who can quickly mobilize.

If you are interested in volunteering please visit NH Responds.

 

Volunteer NH

Volunteer NH is coordinating non-medical volunteers to assist with non-profit agencies around the state.

If you are interested in volunteering please visit Volunteer NH.

 

Opportunities for Businesses

The NH Division of Economic Development has set up a portal for businesses to see what products the State needs.

To see what items are high-need please visit the NH Economy Portal. 

Is there anything else I need to know?

Community Spread

The Centers for Disease Control reports the virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily, and there is “community spread” in many geographic areas.  Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.

It’s critical that everyone take the necessary precautions to limit the possibility of contracting and/or spreading the virus.  The World Health Organization still contends older people, and people with pre-existing medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease) appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus.

Stress and Anxiety

Finally, it is important to recognize the physical and psychological stress that might be caused by the Coronavirus (COVID 19) outbreak.  Outbreaks can be stressful for adults and children.  Here are some tips to help you speak with your family, including children, in the event they experience a change in their routine or environment. Children respond differently to stressful situations than adults.  Talk with your children about the outbreak, try to stay calm, and reassure them that they are safe.

Trusted Sources

References

Take precautions, but don’t panic. Use trusted, knowledgeable sources for up to date information, such as:

image of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

 

New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

World Health Organization